Poisoned Love: The Stacey Castor Story (2020 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Stacey Castor (Nia Vardalos) weathered the storm of her first husband’s death and managed to find love again with her boss, David (Mike Dopud).
Stacey Castor is a single mother raising two teenage daughters named Bree and Ashley. Ashley is an angsty teen who is dating a boy named TKTK. Stacey also has a boyfriend, her boss named David. After banging in the office, he takes her out to a fancy dinner and proposes. So, romantic? Stacey moves in her into David’s house, much to the disappointment of angsty Ashley. Now sure why because they are moving up. The fancy country club, home, and second wedding aren’t that impressive to Ashley.
Flash to one year later. Ashley is STILL angsty, and it seems like David is now too. Stacey is trying to bring the family together, but it is almost impossible with Ashley rebelling. Ashley throws a house party and lets some friends joy ride while drinking. They get caught by the police, and the car gets impounded. Ashley is shocked that David grounds her and storms off to her room and blasts loud music. David takes off her door and wants his wife to back him up on some discipline.
To complicate things, as the family is trying to work things out, David’s dad dies, causing him to spiral into self-medicating with alcohol. Stacey calls him out about his drinking, and she pours him multiple shots of vodka that he knocks back easy. They start yelling at one another, and Ashley storms out. (This that old SNL sketch with Will Farell and Sarah Michelle Gellar.) David is so angry he throws the bottle of vodka and hits Bree in the face. Stacey jumps in and pushes David away and runs out of the house with Bree. She temporarily moves in with her mother.
David stops showing up to work and isn’t answering the phone. Stacey and her coworker are concerned, they go to the house to check on him. He is dead in his bed with poisoning from drinking antifreeze. The POC police officers investigate the scene and find a turkey baster in the trash can. They run a toxicology report and discover ethylene glycol in David’s system. It is ruled as a suicide. Stacey cries when the police tell her and is confused when the lady detective asks if David cooked.
The lady detective is onto Stacey. She questions her again in her home. Lady detective points out inconsistencies in Stacey’s story and asks her to come to the station to give her fingerprints. The case has been reclassified as a homicide. Lady Detective is also interested in Stacey’s first husband, Michael’s, death. (He died of a heart attack, and Lady Detective is starting to think that was murder as well.) Lady Detective resumes Michael’s body. (They find traces of ethylene glycol.)
Stacey manipulates her coworker to notarizing David’s will that they changed a month ago, which is illegal. She also confides in her co-worker that she would do anything to protect her daughters, including not telling the police that she saw Ashley entering the house the weekend he died. The coworker eventually turns on Stacey when she is interrogated by the police and places Ashley at the scene of the crime. To defend herself, Stacey implicates Ashley when questioned by the detectives.
Ashley is upset because the kids at school are staying David was murdered. Stacey makes her a cocktail, and they drink Ashley’s first screwdriver together. Stacey starts making this a habit, and they drink at her 18th birthday party too. Ashley suddenly gets exceptionally drunk and starts getting sick. Bree helps take care of her sister.
A hipster version of “Poison” plays while Stacey walks about the party in slow motion. The next morning Bree finds Ashley unconscious in her bed with a suicide note. Paramedics rush in the house, and doctors fight to save her life. Bree is convinced that Ashley wouldn’t kill herself and tells the detectives as much when they arrive.
Ashley wakes up in the hospital, and the detectives ask her questions about her attempted suicide. They read the note, and as they do so, the camera pans in on Ashley’s face. Ashley realizes her mother attempted to kill her. Her mother is responsible for attempting to frame her for the positioning of David and Michael. When she tells her grandmother, she doesn’t believe her and turns her back on Bree and Ashley. Bree believes her sister and stands by her side.
The Lady Detective notices a typo in the letter. It reads “Antifree” which is how Stacey pronounces the word. Stacey is taken into police custody.
In court, Ashley testifies against her mother, it doesn’t go well, and she is used to placing doubt in the juries mind. This whole movie is an extended Law and Order episode. I was missing the “bump bump” sound. Then Stacey takes the stand. She says she and Ashley were best friends and insists she didn’t kill anyone.
The jury finds Stacey guilty of the murder of David Castor and a slew of other charges. She gets 51 and 1/3rd years in prison. Ashley reads an open letter to her mother to let her/everyone know that she will not turn out like her mother and considers herself an orphan.
Stacey Castor’s maintained her innocence until the day she died in 2016 at 48 years old.
Minority Report: Police detectives, co-worker, forensic worker, doctors.
Ashley Wallace was involved in the production and is featured in a post-show documentary about the real-life case.
🔪🔪🔪 (3 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)
*Photo Credit: © 2020 Lifetime